MINNEAPOLIS -- The Raiders were under the impression that Sunday's game was against the Minnesota Vikings, 11 players per side.

By game's end, Raiders coach Hue Jackson felt as if his players were competing against 18 guys most downs -- 11 players and seven officials.

Not that it mattered. The Raiders streaked to a 20-point lead, allowed two fourth-quarter touchdowns and needed a late defensive stand, yet still won 27-21 at Mall of America Field.

"We won the game because we aren't going to let it get to us, and we are going to continue to play through it," Jackson said.

Jackson said he intends to break from tradition and contact the league about what he termed "unfair" officiating in a game in which the Raiders were penalized 12 times for 117 yards.

The Raiders entered the game as the league's most-penalized team. That's beside the point, Jackson said.

"I'm going to reach out to the league myself," he said. "I normally don't complain about officiating ... (but) I am going to defend my team, and it's time that I do that."

Jackson declined to get into specifics. In general, he said, officials at times ignored him when he asked for explanations on rulings. Other times, officials paid more attention to Vikings coach Leslie Frazier than Jackson.

This matter will take care of itself in due time, Jackson said. For now, his players are finding ways to win regardless of the circumstances.

"I have always said that when we get good enough, it won't (matter)," Jackson said. "Obviously, we might be getting good enough because we are winning games."


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The Raiders improved to 4-1 on the road this season and 6-4 overall. In the process, they maintained sole possession of first place in the AFC West with six games left.

The game was marred by an injury to Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey early in the fourth quarter. Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson appeared to hit Heyward-Bey in the back of the helmet with his forearm, though no penalty was assessed.

Jackson said Heyward-Bey suffered an injury to his neck. Heyward-Bey was checked out at a local hospital and released in time to accompany the team on the flight home.

The Raiders regrouped after Heyward-Bey's injury and secured their second straight victory when strong safety Tyvon Branch broke up a fourth-down pass on the Vikings' final drive.

The Vikings controlled the first and fourth quarters, but it wasn't enough to offset the damage done by the Raiders in the second and third quarters.

Several players credited safety Matt Giordano with changing the complexion of the game with an interception of Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder four plays into the second quarter.

The Raiders scored touchdowns on each of their next three possessions in turning a 7-3 deficit into a 24-7 halftime lead.

"That changed the momentum," cornerback Stanford Routt said. "That ignited our team. When that pick came, all of a sudden, that's when everything started rolling."

Giordano said the Raiders secondary coaches spotted a tendency by Ponder to go to wide receiver Percy Harvin in that situation.

Ponder's penchant for staring down receivers also played in to Giordano's game-turning play.

"He was looking at him, but you can't go on it until the ball is thrown," Giordano said. "So, I was just trying to be patient. Luckily, I recognized it and made the play."

Overall, the Raiders intercepted Ponder three times, recovered a fumbled kick and benefited from a botched field goal attempt by the Vikings.

It also helped that Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson left the game late in the first quarter after he twisted an ankle. Peterson ripped off 12-yard runs on his final two carries.

"When you take away their best player from the whole team, it changed the offense," free safety Michael Huff said. "They put the game in the quarterback's hands, and we made plays when we needed to."

That turned out to be good enough against a two-win Vikings team.

But Routt and others said the Raiders need to play better if they hope to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002. In particular, the players said, the Raiders have to find a way to reduce the penalties and be productive offensively the entire game.

The Raiders failed to score any points in the fourth quarter for the fifth straight game.

"We haven't played a complete game yet," Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said. "It's scary to think when we do, what it's going to look like."